Primary Research Paper

Key words are words that relate to your topic but are not necessarily in your thesis statement (note that it will be most helpful if you have a clear idea about your topic before you begin this type of research, although research can also help to narrow your thesis).

For example, if you are searching for information about women in the Civil War, it would be too broad to enter just "women" and "war." You would find too many sources this way.

However, not all libraries have their entire collection on line.

So, if you are looking for information on say, the Civil War, and think that some older sources might be useful to you, be sure to ask the librarian if the library still maintains their card catalog.

Most library systems allow you to search by title, author, or subject headings, and most are cross-referenced.

If you know which books you want, or know a specific author who has written books about the field that you are researching, then go ahead and use the title or author categories in the computer.

Also check the index in the front or the back of the book (the one in the back is always more detailed, but not all books have one) to be sure that the information you are looking for is in the book. On the other hand, a book that doesn't seem to go along with what you are doing can turn out to have a lot of usable information.

After you finish your work on the computer, ask a reference librarian, or follow the signs on the walls to locate the call numbers that correspond with your books.

Gathering sources is much more complex than it used to be. Secondly, information can be gathered in a number of places.

Your primary places for locating sources will be: This section provides an overview of important concepts and techniques in gathering information for research essays.

Don't hesitate to ask for help from your nearby reference person.

Microfiche or microfilm comes in two forms--small cards of information (fiche), or long film-type strips of information (film).

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